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Thursday, May 25 • 13:30 - 15:00
Pairing Across Skill Levels Without the Drama

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Pairing junior and senior developers on tasks is seen by many organisations as a mutually beneficial learning and mentoring practice. However, learning and successful mentoring are often mixed with frustration, disengagement and stalled progress. These difficulties are usually not acknowledged by the organisations and by the developers themselves.

Together with the audience we will look at a range of problems encountered when pair-programming across skill levels, analyse causes and effects of pairing ‘sins’ committed by senior and junior developers, and explore physical, technical and organisational impediments and solutions. These will range from the obvious and easily solvable, such as disengagement caused by bad physical space, to the more subtle and often overlooked issues related to self-esteem and experts' amnesia as to the process by which they acquired their expertise.

The material will be presented as a series of short sketches acted by the presenters and interspersed with commentary and audience participation. This format will enable a fun, engaging and highly interactive learning opportunity. 

After each scenario we will:

  • Ask the audience to identify what could be improved in the interaction between junior and senior developer

  • Drill down into possible underlying causes of the observed dysfunctions

  • Capture these on a flipchart or whiteboard

The session will conclude with a group exercise to share ideas on how to address the underlying causes of dysfunctional collaboration and put better ways of working into practice.

We will share the results with the rest of the conference (if possible), and with the wider community online.


avatar for Nat Pryce

Nat Pryce

Nat Pryce is a co-author of Growing Object-Oriented Software Guided by Tests. An early adopter of XP, he has written or contributed to several open source libraries and tools that support TDD. He has been a programmer, architect, trainer, and consultant in a variety of industries... Read More →
avatar for Irina Tsyganok

Irina Tsyganok

Software Engineer, YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP
Irina Tsyganok is a software developer at YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP. An active member of Agile and wider technology community. This session is based on, and leads on from, her paper, “Pair-Programming from a Beginner’s Perspective”, that was presented at XP2016.

Thursday May 25, 2017 13:30 - 15:00 CEST
Ballroom C 1st Floor